DONUT 1: Cause for celebration! ...
Mavs owner Mark Cuban, to Ben & Skin, on the subject of not getting Deron Williams: "I think we're in better position now then we would've been if we'd gotten him."
Now, Cuban is a glass-is-half-full guy. Plus there are tickets to be sold and maybe, admissions of failure to be avoided, for whatever reason. Or maybe there are 12 reasons Cuban is right. (Read on.) But ...
Had the Mavs successfully secured the services of Deron -- something they thought about for years and plotted toward for months -- would Cuban now, in his hearts of hearts, have buyer's remorse? Would he, in public or in private, say, "Ooops! We goofed! Which we wouldn't have gotten Deron!''
Nevertheless, I do my best to give Cuban's thinking its due with "12 Reasons He Might Be Right,'' accomplished with the help of a few hours of background interviews that I think aid us in treating fairly Cuban's side of the argument.
DONUT 2: More realism, please ...
Here, NBA.com's David Aldridge gives the Mavs a positive grade for their offseason work. Is the positive stroke itself cause for celebration? Is this just glass-half-full, too?
Nah. We're celebrating for another reason. Here's what David writes about the Dallas Mavericks:
The Mavericks looked like they'd struck out in the first days of free agency. They failed to get Deron Williams, their top target, missed out on Steve Nash and didn't retain Terry. But GM Donnie Nelson pulled out of the nose dive with the acquisitions of Mayo and Kaman, who should both start and contribute offensively immediately, taking some of the load off of Dirk Nowitzki.
Collison and a healthy West will more than make up for Kidd's decreasing production (and relieve Dallas of having to wait any longer for Roddy Beaubois to develop) and give Carlisle some good combinations in his guard rotation with Mayo and the rookie Cunningham, who can also get after it defensively. Brand is 33, but he can still help in the paint and on the glass.
More to the point, the Mavericks executed their game plan of remaining competitive this coming season -- keeping Nowitzki's interest -- while laying in wait for the summer of '13, when they will again be players for Dwight Howard if he indeed declines to sign an extension wherever he is and test free agency, or be in position to make meaningful trades and sign free agents. Cuban has said he won't mind being a taxpayer again, and he'll probably make good on that declaration in a year or so.
So why isn't that cause for celebration all by itself?
DONUT 3: What Aldridge gets ...
Oh, maybe David's way off on Cunningham's involvement. Or maybe he's dead-on on Roddy B's shrinking stature around here.
But that's not why we're happy and that's not why I'm giving David a link and a hat-tip.
Aldridge's accomplishment here is that he GETS WHAT DALLAS IS TRYING TO DO.
The debate over Kaman's skill or Brand's age or Kidd's replacements are good, healthy basketball debates. But they are only half the story of the Mavs front-office accomplishments this summer. David Aldridge gets a gold star for being the all-too-rare national writer who is willing to examine that fact.
Which, by the way, still doesn't make "Plan Powder'' automatically the correct strategy. But recognizing it as an option ... understanding what it is intended to do ... Aldridge puts himself ahead of many by at least doing that.
Meanwhile, Mark sort of pushes us all toward some non-linear reconsideration here by saying "Plan Powder'' isn't THE strategy ... and again, read my "12 Points'' and see if you understand his thoughts.
DONUT 4: One more banger? ...
We still think Joel Przybilla and his agent tossed the Mavs name into the group of suitors in order to drum up interest for a player that was always Bucks-bound. But as we look at the Dallas roster, yeah, Dirk Nowitzki could use one more big banger inside, couldn't he?
DONUT 5: Thanks, Esparza's! ...
The gang at Esparza's in Grapevine loves that it's Cowboys season and the Cowboys love Esparza's, too! Let me put it this way: You never know who you'll see out on Esparza's famous front porch! Thanks for your sponsorship, Esparza's!
DONUT 6: A bolder bold statement ...
Hooray! The cavemen of Augusta, home of the Masters, are bending their archaic rule. Augusta National Golf Club opened its exclusive membership to women Monday for the first time in its 80-year history. The lucky ladies? Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina businesswoman Darla Moore are the first women to be invited to the exclusive Georgia club.
Now, if the ladies REALLY want to make a bold statement, they should politely decline Augusta's generous offer.
DONUT 7: Want more Mavs? ...
the best and deepest coverage of the Mavs available anywhere ... take our free seven-day trial and then get your Mavs gold for pennies! Go Mavs and Go Premium!
By the way, we take that same focus that we provide on the Mavs here on DB.com and apply it to the Mavs and the Cowboys on 105.3 The Fan. Listen live here for some Fish on Football and for breaking Mavs stuff, too ... throughout today and every day ... and we'll take you inside the teams in every possible way!
DONUT 8: Follow Fish and the Mavs on Twitter ...
DONUT 9: Who will win more games, the Mavs or the Nets? ...
And the survey says ...
DONUT 10: World Wide Leader ...
So I'm getting a football fix the other day by watching ESPN and there's ol' NFL coach Mangini wearing a fancy suit and telling me that all the former star WRs who are changing teams this summer are going to be AWESOME in their new homes.
Ocho? Awesome in Miami! Braylon Edwards? Awesome in Seattle! T.O.? He'll be awesome in Seattle, too!
WWL, give me a little edge, OK? I mean, go ahead and sell me some Seahawks football if you must. But even if those guys still have the talent to be "awesome,'' the sheer odds of two of them doing it together with the Seahawks calls for a tug on the reins.
It's not THAT easy to be awesome, or T.O. wouldn't have spent last season playing for the Allen Flag-Footballers, or whatever that was.
And since the WWL's report, "awesome'' T.O. is already causing personality problems in the Seattle locker room. And "awesome'' Chad Johnson has been cut. Chad's "awesome'' future? An invitation from the Miami version of the Allen Flag-Footballers cannot be far off.
DONUT 11: Jet's his own PR man ...
I consider it inevitable: Jason Terry's jersey will someday hang in the AAC rafters. One of the reasons: He stumps so hard for it.
“When you start talking about a jersey in the rafters and stuff like that, 'He took us to the Finals and was the first point guard to do it,' and all those consecutive 50-game seasons,’’ Terry, now a Celtic, tells the S-T. “And then finally winning the championship. “The credentials are there. Now whether or not that happens, only God knows.’’
Well, God and Jet -- who knows that the more he talks about it, the more the seed of assumption is planted ... and the closer it comes to being an inevitable.
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
Rumors state that the Sacramento Kings might be moving to Virgina Beach. In honor of Nellie, I wish they'd move to Pismo Beach and rename themselves the Panthers.